The IMO Council is expected to discuss the motion later this month
A motion urging opposition to the proposed legislative changes that would allow the CEO of the medical regulatory body — instead of its Preliminary Proceedings Committee — to initially investigate complaints made against doctors, is set to be “robustly” considered by the Council of the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) when it meets later this month.
IMO President Dr Peadar Gilligan told Irish Medical Times: “It is expected to be discussed at a meeting of the Council of the IMO later this month. I am sure as ever there will be robust discussion at Council and we will get perspectives from all the craft groups with regard to the issue and hopefully make a judgement with regard to progressing the issue.”
“But I have to say we have had very useful engagement with the Medical Council in the last year, and I am hoping that’s something that will continue for us,” he added.
The motion was referred to the IMO’s Council, which is the representative body’s governing organ, following a vote by members at its AGM in Killarney last month.
This followed a suggestion, from the floor, by a former President of the IMO Dr Asam Ishtiaq that the intent of the Medical Council’s amendment was probably to help expedite decision-making particularly with regard to what might be perceived as vexatious complaints against doctors that do not need to go all the way to a fitness to practise (FTP) hearing.
The motion’s proposer also a former President, Dr John Duddy, had argued that as a lay person, the CEO of the Medical Council would be making decisions with regards to doctors’ FTP issues that might be outside of their remit.
Dr Gilligan said: “Undoubtedly being referred to the Medical Council is an incredibly distressing experience for doctors who are already very, very busy and it can have very significant implications for their mental health and indeed for their ongoing practice.”